[Python-3000] Support for PEP 3131

Josiah Carlson jcarlson at uci.edu
Fri May 25 18:05:07 CEST 2007

"Guido van Rossum" <guido at python.org> wrote:
> On 5/24/07, Josiah Carlson <jcarlson at uci.edu> wrote:
> > Where else in Python have we made the default
> > behavior only desired or useful to 5% of our users?
> Where are you getting that statistic? This seems an extremely
> backwards, US-centric worldview.

Stephen Turnbill's rough statistics on multilingual use in Emacs...
And that's a big "if".  Most of your users will not see code in a
language the current version of your editor can't deal with in their
working lives, and 90% won't in the usable life of your product.  That
I can tell you from experience.  Emacs has all these wonderful
multilingual features, but you know what?  95% of our users are
monoscript 100% of the time.[1]  90% of the rest use their primary
script 95% of the time.  Emacs being multilingual only means that the
one language might be Japanese or Thai.  If 99% of your users
currently use only ISO-8859-15, that isn't going to change by much just
because Python now allows Thai identifiers.

Which I 'poorly extrapolate' to users who write source using non-ascii
Why?  Primarily because ascii identifiers are what are allowed today,
and have been allowed for 15 years.  But there is this secondary data
point that Stephen Turnbull brought up; 95% of users (of Emacs) never
touch non-ascii code.  Poor extrapolation of statistics aside, to make
the default be something that does not help 95% of users seems a
bit... overenthusiastic.  Where else in Python have we made the default
behavior only desired or useful to 5% of our users?

Apples and oranges to be sure, but there are no other statistics that
anyone else is able to offer about use of non-ascii identifiers in Java,
Javascript, C#, etc.

 - Josiah

More information about the Python-3000 mailing list